Canvas Theatre weaves storytelling and shanty singing to tell a riveting true tale about life during WW1 on the Cornish coast

This Autumn, a riveting piece of original lyrical theatre, interweaved with live shanty singing and hymns of the sea will tour coastal communities in Cornwall. Presented by Canvas Theatre, The Coastguard’s Daughter tells the true and almost forgotten tale of a Cornish community reacting to the perils and difficulties of war.


If you are attending a performance at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall and you have access or seating requirements please do email us at enquiries@NMMC.CO.UK

Four professional actors will perform with local community choirs to bring to life the story of Mrs Helena McDiarmid, the Coastguard’s wife and her two teenage daughters. In 1915 the Head Coastguard of one maritime village and his crew, left their posts in order to enlist in the First World War. His daughters volunteered to take up their father’s mantle, undertaking the responsibility of the perilous post, looking out over the boats and the bay, staying strong and lighting the way.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall will host a performance on 02/11/17 with Femmes de le Mer an all female sea shanty group.

Presented by Canvas Theatre, The Coastguard’s Daughter was written by Olivia Lowry and is directed by Rosanna Elliott. Following rave reviews and a sold out run in 2016, the show now returns for an eleven date tour that spans the county.

The story tells a tale of ordinary young women who took on an important role in their community to save the lives of others. It is a story that both celebrates and laments the truth of what it is to live by the sea. Canvas Theatre have chosen to work with a different singing group or choir in each venue, which means each show will have a new and unique identity true to the creation of the people involved.

Canvas is a professional theatre company dedicated to creating high quality, innovative projects that aim to connect and inspire people in Cornwall and beyond.

To continue the legacy of the project, the production aims to collect stories from the communities it visits which will be archived through The National Maritime Museum Cornwall  who are also hosting a performance and supporting the project.

The production is supported by the Arts Council England, Feast, and Cornwall Heritage Trust.

The Coastguard’s Daughter will tour to Charlestown, St Just Penwith, Golant, National Maritime Museum Falmouth, Truro, Cadgwith, Tywardeath, Callington, Mousehole and Maker with Rame from 8th October to 26 November.

Tickets are £10. To book call 01726 879 500 or visit

You can also access more information at

Tour dates:

08/10/17 with The Press Gang | Kajsamoor Boat, Charlestown
20/10/17 with The Cape Singers | ST Just Town Hall
29/10/17 with The Golant Singers |Golant
02/11/17 with Femmes de le Mer | National Maritime Museum Cornwall
03/11/17 with The Gulls | Port Issac Village Hall
07/11/17 with The Aggie Boys | Truro College Mylor Theatre
10/11/17 with The Cadgwith Singers | Landewednack Community Hall
11/11/17 with The Press Gang | Tywardeath Village Hall
17/11/17 with Flash Jack | Callington Town Hall
18/11/17 with The Boilerhouse Singers | Mousehole Solomon Browne Hall
26/11/17 with Halfway Harmony | Maker With Rame Community Hall